No distress calls at SOS

I just discovered some photos in my phone taken a few weeks ago at SOS, the new Italian seafood restaurant in Melbourne Central that’s being touted as Melbourne’s new must-dine vegaquarian venue.

SOS is the new star in the Paul Mathis constellation, twinkling up there with his past successes like Taxi, Chocolate Buddha, Blue Train, Soulmama and the after-work drinks staple, Transport. The entire menu at SOS is made from vegetarian dishes or sustainably-produced seafood. Regular readers will know my views on vegetarianism. It’s not often that a veg dish can hold my attention for longer than a couple of mouthfuls. So it was lucky that I didn’t know a thing about SOS when Zarina suggested it as I probably would have been turned off by the idea of a meatless meal.

However there was nothing about these dishes that bored me. I was STARVING when I arrived at SOS for lunch with Zarina and Amelia, partly because I skipped breakfast that day, and partly because I worked up an appetite just trying to find the place. The entrance to SOS looks kind of like the doorway into the Tardis. It’s big, heavy, gold and makes the place look very unwelcoming. And the blowfly-esque logo (is it a moth? A cicada?) made me wonder if I had found the right place or whether I was about to walk into a room full of teenage boys playing Time Crisis.

But the entry and the logo are my only criticisms. The food and service was superb, and our seat overlooking the state library lawns on a perfect spring day made me wistful for my uni years (though with the mains sitting at around the $28 mark, I certainly wouldn’t have been eating at SOS if I were still a student). We were offered some complimentary mini-crostinis to get the ball rolling, which was a lovely way to welcome us to the restaurant and wiped away my memories of the imposing entry.

Thankfully Zarina and Amelia are lunchalot aficionados, so indulged me when I wanted to take pics of the dishes as they arrived.


Ravioli ripieni di porcini e timo serviti con salsa di mirtilli e burro
Hand made ravioli pasta filled with fresh porcini and thyme served with butter and Tasmanian blueberries. This is the only item from a few weeks ago which is still on the menu, and I can’t remember the details of the other dishes we ate!

Taglierini with prawns

Cute little crostini with my favourite Italian phrase, mozzarella di buffala!

Level 3, Melbourne Central
211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne

2 comments on No distress calls at SOS

  1. clarkabrese
    December 18, 2006 at 9:36 am (13 years ago)

    Dear Mrs Lunchalot

    Here’s an Italian SOS of my own.. In thinking of which sweet to make to contribute to a Christmas lunch with -possible future- Italian in-laws, what would the grand dame of the web suggest?

    Please note, the distressed author’s speciality is NOT sweets, so simple is good good good.


  2. Lady Lunchalot
    December 18, 2006 at 11:12 am (13 years ago)


    you could give a tiramisu a try? There’s no actual cooking. It’s just “assembling” a kind of Italian trifle. If you get some good marscapone and drizzle chunks of melted chocolate through it, it’s always a hit. And it’s a nice nod to the cultural heritage of your beloved!

    Or you could give it an Aussie touch, and go a pav? (My personal favourite). Or just a fruit platter with some tropical fruits from your banana-bending background (no, you’re not so anonymous). Fruit is always great after a heavy meal, as an Italian Christmas lunch will undoubtedly be. You could drizzle some liquer and a sprinkle of icing sugar over the top for a special touch.

    Or there’s traditional Christmas pud? Or if you wanted something light to accompany coffee, maybe some chocolate dipped strawberries injected with liquer?

    Man… now I’m hungry.


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